Chris Blattman

Huntsman the cave man?

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If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the “Saturday Night Live” routine in which Phil Hartman played the “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” — a Neanderthal who thawed out after 100,000 years, went to law school and became a grandstanding advocate and even ran for political office. (“I don’t really understand your Congress or your system of checks and balances, because as I said during the campaign, I’m just a caveman,” went a typical oration. “I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by scientists. But there is one thing I do know: We must do everything in our power to lower the capital gains tax!”)

As I watched Huntsman tour New Hampshire, I began to think of him, in a kind way, as being the unfrozen caveman candidate. He’d been living in a censored society on the other side of the planet — encased in ice, for all political purposes — during the town-hall uprisings in the summer of 2009 and all the grass-roots fury that attached itself to everything Obama did. And this, he seemed to think, exempted him from having to know much about any of it. I’m just a caveman. I don’t know much about your “tea parties” and your “birthers.” But there are some things I do know…

That is Matt Bai in the NY Times. I predict a journalistic love-fest for the candidate, a la McCain 2000. Quite possibly well-deserved.

My working assumption, however, is that any Republican I tend to like is unacceptable to his party. The same, in fact, usually applies to the Democrats as well.

5 Responses

  1. I’m not sure Huntsman would have been embroiled in the tea party, town hall outrage much even if he had been here. As governor of Utah he was quite moderate, and was actually hated (and I do mean hated) by the right-wingers among Republicans in Utah. Maybe he would have said a few things, but he also wasn’t up for re-election as governor until 2012–so he wouldn’t have really had to say a lot to appease his party for electoral purposes.

  2. Could you get more specific about which Rebublicans and Democrats you tend to like?

    1. Those who promote economic development? Just guessing? Since Republicans are voting against paying Teachers, and want to kill Health Care in the US, and Medicaid for Retirees, etc. I’m guessing he’s a Democrat!

  3. “My working assumption, however, is that any Republican I tend to like is acceptable to his party. ”
    I take it that’s “UNacceptable to his party”?

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